Denver Faces Flood of Comments on Green Roof Initiative and Regulations Drafted to Implement It

Denver developers, architects, environmental activists and residents weighed in at a Wednesday hearing on the voter-passed Green Roof Initiative, and in comments submitted beforehand, with complaints and suggestions about city regulations drafted to implement it.

The Denver Planning Board convened the hearing at 4 p.m. for the public to air views and concerns on the 14 pages of proposed rules and regulations.

Prior to the meeting, more than two dozen people submitted comments to the city by email, with the bulk voicing concern about the impact of specific provisions — or worrying that the green roof ordinance itself, which is the most stringent in the nation, will stifle development.

The new ordinance took effect Jan. 1, but the proposed rules — and potential changes by the City Council that are possible starting in May — leave plenty of uncertainty around how it will be carried out by the city.

The initiative’s backers say they generally see the city’s proposed regulations as a good-faith effort to uphold the initiative’s intent. But they have concerns about city attorneys’ technical definitions, interpretations of the initiative’s provisions and the resulting potential for what they see as too many exclusions.

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